The winter season is still among us, and the best way to stay warm is to have yourself a big bowl of hearty stew. 

Chana masala, also known as Chole Masala, is a recipe originated from Northern India and typically includes: chickpeas, onions, tomatoes and multiple spices like garam masala, cumin, turmeric, garlic, coriander, ginger and more! 

There are also variations of Chana Masala in Pakistan and Morocco that use similar techniques and ingredients.

With the many spices included in the dish, this recipe is sure to wake up your taste buds, and if you’re looking for a more substantial meal, it can be paired with rice and puri, a deep-fried Indian bread. 

The dish has recently gained popularity considering it’s vegetarian, and packs lots of protein.

If you’re interested in making this recipe, follow the instructions below! 

How to Make Chana Masala

  1. In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, serrano and salt. Cook until the onion is tender and turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt and cayenne (if using), and cook for another minute, while stirring constantly.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their juices. If using whole tomatoes, use the back of a wooden spoon to break the tomatoes apart (you can leave some chunks of tomato for texture).
  4. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, reducing the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 10 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to develop. 
  5. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired. If it’s not spicy enough for your liking, add another pinch of cayenne.
  6. Serve over basmati rice, if desired, and garnish with a lemon wedge or two and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced 
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 28-oz canned fire-roasted crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
  • 2 14-oz canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

1 thought on “Chana Masala — A Creamy Vegetarian Stew

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